River Trips

Boater on the Virgin River

All watercraft use in the park requires a wilderness permit. For boating below the Temple of Sinawava, these permits are free and can be obtained at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center the day of your trip. To find out when the Wilderness Desk is open, read about our operating hours.

Permits to float the Virgin River are issued when the river is flowing in excess of 150 cubic feet per second. The US Geological Survey measures Virgin River flow rates. Watercraft must be specifically designed for whitewater use. Operators must be equipped with approved personal flotation devices.

Kayak trips through The Narrows portion of the Virgin River should only be attempted by expert paddlers who are prepared to survive without assistance for multiple days. You should possess the skills to paddle class V Whitewater. At some flows, the rapids may qualify for an easier classification. Permits for kayaking through The Narrows will not be issued on the day of the trip and must be obtained the day before. An early start to this trip is needed. Permits for kayaking through the Narrows will only be issued if the flow of the Virgin River has stayed above 150 cubic feet per second for 24 consecutive hours. Group size limit for boating the Narrows is 6 people.

Inner tubes are not permitted at any time on any watercourse within the park.

A ranger hands a visitor a map and newspaper about Zion National Park
How and when to apply for permits

Apply for permits to visit Angels Landing, to canyoneer, and to camp in Zion Wilderness

Wilderness Information
Wilderness Information

Planning and permits for backpacking, canyoneering, and other Wilderness trips.

Last updated: April 20, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale, UT 84767


If you have questions, please email zion_park_information@nps.gov. Listen to recorded information by calling anytime 24 hours a day. Rangers answer phone calls from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. MT, but a ranger may not answer if they are already speaking with someone else.

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